Objectives: This article extends previous reports on (i) elicitation of taste aversion after pairing a flavored beverage (saccharin solution) with a disease-provoking microbial product (lipopolysaccharide, LPS, or polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid, poly I:C); (ii) elicitation of sickness behavior (assessed as diminished ingestion of water and food) by the conditioned stimulus, and (iii) development of tolerance to those microbial products. Methods: Mice of the CD1 strain were conditioned by pairing ingestion of 0.15% saccharin solution with injection of LPS (100 µg/mouse) or poly I:C (6 mg/kg). A few days later, some mice were offered saccharin solution and were injected with saline, whereas other mice were offered saccharin solution and were injected with the microbial product. Results: Regardless of the nature of the unconditioned stimulus (LPS or poly I:C), (i) taste aversion to saccharin ensued, (ii) tolerance ensued to sickness elicitation by a second administration of the microbial component, and (iii) saccharin taste did not evoke sickness. Conclusions: Symptoms of infectious sickness in the absence of infection are hardly explained by exposure to the conditioned stimulus.

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